In case you don’t know yet, half and half contains half milk and half cream.
Half and half is usually mixed with coffee to make it creamier. So if you are a keto dieter who wants to mix it with your morning cup of joe, then you are probably wondering – Can I have half and half on keto?
Unfortunately, half and half is not keto. By replacing half of the full cream with milk, the fats from the cream are also being replaced with sugars from the milk (in the form of lactose). In other words, fat is reduced in favor of more carbs and sugar – things you don’t want to do when following a keto diet.
Take note that one tablespoon of half and half contains only 1g of carb in the form of sugar. This means that mixing 1 to 2 tablespoons of half and half with your coffee should not have a big impact on your daily carb allowance. That is why some keto dieters still use it with their coffee as long as they don’t exceed their daily carb limit (usually ranges between 20g to 30g of net carbs per day).
Will half and half break my fast?
For some fasting purists, eating or drinking a single calorie technically breaks the fast. However, most people who follow the keto diet believe that consuming strictly fats won’t break your fasting state.
This is due to the fact that fats, unlike protein and carbs, does not cause your insulin levels to rise. This means that your body can stay in the fat-burning state of ketosis.
That said, drinking half and half will probably break your fast since it contains carbs in the form of lactose. It is not recommended to mix it with your keto coffee in the morning if you are trying to maintain your fasting state.
Does half and half increase blood sugar levels?
Yes, it does increase blood sugar levels. The milk content of half and half contains lactose, which is a natural sugar that can affect your blood sugar. However, there are other creamy alternatives to half and half that will not cause your blood sugar to rise.
3 Keto Coffee Alternatives to Half and Half
The following are keto-friendly alternatives to half and half that can make your coffee creamier with minimal carbs.
Prior to the recent popularity of the ketogenic diet, butter is used to be known to cause obesity, heart attacks, and strokes due to its high saturated fat content.
Nowadays, butter is considered a healthy source of fat (at least in the keto community). However, keep in mind that butter is around 80% fat so it packs a lot of calories per serving.
A tablespoon of butter (14 grams) contains 100 calories, and almost all of it comes from fat. It contains a lot of calories for a small serving because of the fact that fats contain 9 grams of calories per gram as opposed to 4 calories per gram for both carbs and protein.
On a positive note, fat is hard to digest and most people find it to be quite satiating. This makes it harder for people to binge eat while following a strict keto diet.
Another good thing about butter is that it does not contain any carbs or sugar at all. This makes it a perfect keto coffee creamer. We recommend that you use a blender when mixing it with your coffee for better consistency and to avoid an oily top surface.
A popular coffee among keto dieters is the Bulletproof Coffee, which is popularized by the author of Bulletproof Diet, Dave Asprey. It is basically a mix of coffee, butter, and MCT oil which makes your keto coffee packed with healthy fats!
Here’s a quick video explaining how to do it:
Ghee is basically a form of clarified butter. It is made by heating butter to separate the butterfat (ghee) from all the milk solids and other impurities. This process makes ghee (pure butterfat) to have a higher fat concentration than butter (butterfat with milk protein).
Ghee Is Pure Fat
Ghee is basically 99.9% fat and 25% of it is composed of short and medium chain fatty acids. These types of fats can easily be converted as energy by the body, which means that you can reach ketosis faster by consuming them.
Ghee’s Nutritional Benefits
Ghee is also rich in essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 9. Grass-fed ghee is also packed with Vitamin A as a by-product of beta-carotene consumed by grass-fed cows. Just like butter, ghee does not contain sugar which also makes it an ideal fat source for keto.
How To Make Your Own Ghee
You can easily make your own ghee at home. Here’s a quick video teaching you how to do it:
It is important to note that ghee has a greater smoke point than butter, which means that it can be heated to a higher temperature before it begins to smoke. It is ideal to use when cooking dishes that require high heat.
What’s Better – Butter or Ghee?
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. Either one works very well with keto coffee!
3. Heavy Whipping Cream
If you are dealing with sugar withdrawal issues with your morning coffee because you are used to drinking sugar-packed lattes, then this option is for you.
A quick way to replicate your sweet morning lattes is by adding a dollop of heavy whipping cream in your coffee. Optionally, you can also add a no-carb sweetener such as stevia and a touch of vanilla extract to enjoy a frothy version of keto coffee goodness.
The Downside of Heavy Whipping Cream
We hate to break the bad news, but heavy whipping cream does contain carbs! Although it contains much fewer carbs than half and half (0.4g per tablespoon vs 1g per tablespoon), you still have to be aware so you won’t overindulge yourself with this creamy decadence.
Beware of No-Carb Heavy Whipping Cream Labels
Food manufacturers in the United States are allowed to declare a product as having zero carbs if it contains less than 0.5 grams of carbs per serving. Since heavy whipping cream contains only 0.4 grams of carbs per serving (1 tablespoon), manufacturers are allowed to label their heavy whipping cream product as having zero carbs!
For most people, 0.4g of carbs is nothing to worry about. However, for keto dieters with a very limited amount of daily carb allowance, this tiny amount might have a huge impact especially if they believe the ‘zero carb’ label of most brands. The tendency is for them to overindulge with HWC and the small amount of 0.4 grams can quickly turn into 2, 4, 8 grams of carbs or even more.
Heavy whipping cream is obviously the least keto-friendly alternative to half and half. Just like half and half, it will probably break your morning fast and can even kick you out of ketosis if you don’t watch out its serving quantity. Yes, it is still a better option than half and half, but use it to a minimum.
Unfortunately, half and half cannot be considered as a keto food specifically because of its high lactose content. Lactose is just another term for the milk’s natural sugar so it is still basically a carb.
There are other keto-friendly alternatives to half and half that can make your keto coffee creamier such as butter, ghee, and to some extent, heavy whipping cream.
Although heavy whipping cream is still a better alternative than half-half due to its lower carb content, you still need to be aware that it still has carbs and you need to limit its servings to a minimum.
If you are strict with your keto diet, then we recommend that you just stick with butter or ghee as much as possible. Or, you can drink pure black coffee as it is!